USS Guardian (YAGR-1) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Guardian (YAGR-1) was a converted radar picket ship acquired by the U.S. Navy at the start of the Cold War to be used for radar defenses of the United States. The ship was originally built as the Liberty Ship SS James G. Squires at the J.A. Jones Construction Corporation’s shipyards in Panama City, Florida. The ship was in service under the Waterman Steamship Corporation’s command throughout the war and then placed in the reserve fleet, James River Group, Virginia. The vessel was scrapped in 1971 in Spain. Asbestos was used extensively within the shipbuilding industry throughout the United States particularly in the 1940s, ’50s, 60s, and ’70s. Its ability to withstand high temperatures and corrosion made asbestos an ideal material for insulating the ship’s boilers, steam pipes, hot water pipes, and incinerators. The risk of asbestos exposure arose through maintenance and repair work undertaken on many vessels following construction. This often meant that large amounts of asbestos lagging would be removed in order to gain access to pipes and boilers.

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Shipmates on USS Guardian (YAGR-1)